By Bryan Thiel
Throughout my time using Social Media, the only two applications I’ve consistently used were Twitter and Facebook, with a little LinkedIn sprinkled in here or there.
When Facebook was developed, it was a way to keep in touch with classmates and friends, set up parties or events, and even meet new people. For a high school student, it had some very practical uses. As I embarked on college and my professional career after school, suddenly Twitter was on the rise. Tweeting quickly became a quick and effective way of conveying information (in 140 characters or less), and things seemed to take two sides: You were either providing the information or hoarding it for yourself. After that, I began developing my LinkedIn profile thanks to a professor I had who had the foresight to see what it would become for professionals looking to expand their reach in their field.
For the past five years, those have been where I’ve had an impact on social media. When Instagram stormed to the forefront of photo-sharing, I honestly didn’t care that much. There wasn’t much on it at the time that interested me, and it just seemed like an excuse to share a photo using a ridiculous amount of hashtags for no real reason.
Fast forward to February of 2016 and….I caved.
Well, not caved so much per se, as decided to take the plunge. As a friend and I embarked on a cruise through the Caribbean, I decided that it was time to download Instagram and see what it was about.
For the most part, Instagram wasn’t as troublesome or as annoying as I had made it out to be in my head. In comparing it with Twitter and Facebook, it offers completely different things (at least for me). On Facebook when I log in, I can scroll through the latest updates from my friends. On Twitter, I can find out the latest on what’s going on in the world or with my favourite teams. On Instagram, I’m immediately bombarded with images that offer a combination of the two (obviously this depends on your own list of friends/followers), that draw my attention immediately in an entirely different way.
Overall, my first experience posting on Instagram was a success. Sure I missed a few hashtags opportunities here or there, and I had to figure out how to use emojis again (I haven’t used them since the MSN Messenger days), but everything went about as smooth as you would expect. The only downfall on the whole trip (and during my experiment) was the fact that WiFi, predictably, was fleeting. You could pay for it on the boat, but money-wise, I figured it probably wasn’t worth the cost to simply post a few pictures.
So when in doubt….wait until you dock:
Even though it ended up being only four photos shared for the whole trip, I was really satisfied with my experiment. I was able to distinguish Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in my mind and through their uses, and believe that I can practically work Instagram into my professional and personal social media rotation.